The Professor's Desk

Protesting Ferguson

Ferguson RallyProfessor Jonathan L. Walton's speech from the Ferguson protest in Harvard Yard on December 3, 2014 (Photo by Tiana A. Abdulmassih)

“Protect and Serve” or Criminalize and Contain?
Protesting the Grand Jury Decision in Ferguson, MO

Beginning in 1955 in the city of Los Angeles, the police academy adopted the motto, “To protect and serve.” This pithy but powerful phrase encapsulates the mission of police departments across this country. To protect and serve members of the community; serving residents by protecting residents from harm and danger.  Unfortunately, for too many in our nation it seems that our modern militarized police forces are less concerned with protecting and serving, and more concerned with containing and criminalizing; particularly when it comes to the black male body. Black bodies are to keep in their place; capitulate to state power; lest they be criminalized for little more than appearing out of place. Read more about Protesting Ferguson

2nd session of Bible Study

I hope you'll come out for the second session of this Term's Reading the Bible in its World for Your World next Wednesday, November 5 at 7 p.m. As usual, the session will be held in the Pusey Room of the Memorial Church. Hope to see you there!

1st Bible Study of Term this Wed

Bible study


Please join me this Wednesday, October 1 at 7 p.m. in the Pusey Room of the Memorial Church for the first session this Term of Reading the Bible in its World for Your World. Hope to see you there!

Homily for the Class of 1954: "Company in the Clouds"

Professor Jonathan L. Walton delivered the following homily to the Radcliffe and Harvard College Class of 1954 on the occasion of their 60th Class Reunion at the Memorial Church on May 27, 2014.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

June 17th, 1954 was an exciting day in Read more about Homily for the Class of 1954: "Company in the Clouds"

Last Bible Study of Spring Term

Reading the Bible in its World for Your World: Sunday, May 25, 9:30 a.m.Have you answered your homework questions regarding the Historical Jesus?

I hope you will join me for one last Bible Study of Spring Term on Sunday, May 25, at 9:30 a.m. in the Pusey Room of the Memorial Church. We will discuss the following questions:

1. Calling him "Jesus of Nazareth" was considered an insult — why?

2. He's described as a carpenter, but where did he work?

3. Why is the destruction of the temple so important in the creation of the narrative of Christ (and the people who began writing about it)?

4. How does he go from Jesus THE Christ to Jesus Christ?

5. And what might all of these questions have to do with the global superrich plutocracy in contemporary times?

Next Bible Study Tomorrow Night

The fifth session of our year-long Bible Study series, "Reading the Bible in Its World for Your World," will be held tomorrow night, Thursday, March 27 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. in the Pusey Room of the Memorial Church. Please join us!